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Teens will be confined for 30 days

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As the attorney representing three teens charged with burning Hephzibah High School's JROTC building to the ground in June argued for leniency at a Juvenile Court hearing Wednesday, Judge Jennifer McKinzie countered with a dose of tough love that seemed to silence any hope the teens had for getting off easy.

"(The adults in the case) are looking at 30 years and the max in this court is 30 days," said McKinzie. "The leniency happened because they are juveniles."

Two adults, James Schlein and Antonio Maurice Sinkler, are being tried in Superior Court.

The three young men -- each one of them now felons -- were led away by bailiffs to serve the next month in confinement -- the maximum sentence for their charge of second-degree arson. The teens, brothers Jerry, 13, and Ryan Taylor, 15, along with 13-year-old Demontrez Miles, will be on high-intensity probation for the next five years. They were also sentenced to 100 hours each of community service.

But perhaps more than the confinement, the most difficult question for the court was how to make the teens pay for the $348,340 in damage they caused to the school. Part of the burden will fall on the parents, McKinzie said.

"I want everybody to know up front that it's the parents' responsibility when their children make bad choices," she said. "There is going to be some payback."

That decision was, at least partially, postponed so the attorneys for the teens could speak with the defendants' parents about their financial assets. Meanwhile, McKinzie said the teens would have to immediately begin paying $25 a month to the school.

As if to drive the seriousness home, McKinzie said the teens, who will spend Christmas and New Year's in confinement, should have no expectations about receiving holiday cheer.

"Any amount of money you get ... you must give to restitution," she said to the parents. "(The defendants) have lost the privilege to have any Christmas gifts."

Background

On June 17, five people broke into Hephzibah High School's indoor JROTC firing range, football stadium concession stand and a softball storage area. The suspects ate chips, threw ketchup on the floors, and broke equipment for the scoreboard, before setting a jacket on fire inside the ROTC building. Surveillance video caught them throwing rocks at the camera in what authorities said was a failed attempt to cover their tracks. The fire spread and destroyed the building. In total, they caused $348,340 worth of damage. Three juveniles, brothers Jerry and Ryan Taylor, along with Demontrez Jones, have admitted to the crime. Two men, James Schlein, 20, and Antonio Maurice Sinkler, 18, are awaiting trial in Richmond County Superior Court on charges of arson in the first-degree.

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bclicious
619
Points
bclicious 12/16/10 - 06:11 am
0
0
Serves them right. They

Serves them right. They earned every bit of it. It is just too bad that a stiffer penalty could not have been imposed.

kidzap
0
Points
kidzap 12/16/10 - 06:14 am
0
0
YES SOMEONE NEEDS TO PAY.BUT

YES SOMEONE NEEDS TO PAY.BUT I DO NOT TOTALLY
BLAME THE PARENTS FOR KIDS BAD ACTS.WE RAISE OUR CHILDREN AND PRAY THAT THEY DO THE RIGHT THINGS IN LIFE. YOU CAN HARDLY CORRECT THEM THESE DAYS. ITS A DOUBLE STANDARD , YOU ARE D----IF YOU DO AND D---- IF YOU DO NOT. BUT IF THEY DO WRONG THEN ITS YOUR FOUGHT YOU DIDN'T RAISE THEM RIGHT. I SAY WHEN THEY FINISH WITH THEIR SENTENCE. MAKE THEM GET JOBS AND EVERY DIME THEY MAKE
HAS TO GO TO THE PEOPLE THEY OWE. UNTIL ALL IS PAID BACK.

oldfella
599
Points
oldfella 12/16/10 - 07:00 am
0
0
"But perhaps more than the

"But perhaps more than the confinement, the most difficult question for the court was how to make the teens pay for the $348,340 in damage they caused to the school. Part of the burden will fall on the parents"

What is this, open mic night at a comedy club? How about all of the burden will fall on the hard-working taxpayers of Richmond County?
I'm guessing all these kids' parents combined won't make that much money in the rest of their natural lives. The kids sure won't when they get released, with felony convictions.
Oh, wait! I forgot, they can always work for the city - they prefer convicted felons anyway.

fatboyhog
1806
Points
fatboyhog 12/16/10 - 07:26 am
0
0
30 days for arson???? The

30 days for arson???? The juvenile "justice" system needs to be overhauled. We wonder why juveniles commit crimes? There are no real repercussions for them when they commit crimes. 30 days and the attorney argues for leniency?? Are you serious? What a joke! They need to spend at least 5 years in prison. You want to commit a big boy crime, you should get some big boy time. Throw them i jail, make them get a high school diploma or GED, and then make them perform community service when they are released. They should get the number of hours multiplied by minimum wage until the damages are paid off. It's time to get tough on these little criminals. The "justice" system still treats these punks like truants. They are CRIMINALS!

fatboyhog
1806
Points
fatboyhog 12/16/10 - 07:30 am
0
0
Kidzap, there is no guarantee

Kidzap, there is no guarantee that kids will always turn out right, but a very large percentage are little criminal punks because of the lack of disipline at home. True, some criminals were raised right and go astray, but I'm sure it's safe to say that the majority were not "raised" properly. And yes, the parents should be held responsible for the actions of their 13 and 15 year olds. That's the problem with society today. You brought them into the world, you get all the good and the bad. Control your kids and I'm fairly confident that they won't be committing felonies at 13. Maybe I'm crazy, but that's what I think anyway.

Martinez
154
Points
Martinez 12/16/10 - 08:03 am
0
0
Expecting the parents to pay

Expecting the parents to pay is not only reasonable, it is legal. Years ago a child temporarily in my care broke a window at school, guess who had to pay for it? Certainly not the bio-parent or state foster system. But for every dime I paid, the child worked, albeit at home doing chores he would have been asked to do anyway, but the point he - - this is what it means to be legally responsible for a child. Someone has to be the adult and that sometimes means someone has to pay.

nofrills
0
Points
nofrills 12/16/10 - 08:06 am
0
0
It is wrong to expect the

It is wrong to expect the parents to pay when the law clearly states that you can not correct your child proper any more. The rules say you must sit them down and talk or confine them to their room. Unless you allow the parents to go back to when children were taught respect or went out behind the tool shed then you can't blame the parents. Give the parents the right to spank when needed!

tuffenuf4u
0
Points
tuffenuf4u 12/16/10 - 08:32 am
0
0
30 days from now they will be

30 days from now they will be laughing as they exit YDC. If they could be locked up with hardened criminals, and see what real prison is really like, then this short sentence would do some good.

rdbike
47
Points
rdbike 12/16/10 - 08:40 am
0
0
The law used to be that the

The law used to be that the parents were held responsible for any bad act that was done willingly by a minor. If that is the case the parents should have to pay, even if it means that have to sell off everything they own to cover the debt and borrow the rest. Too bad these felons will only have to serve 30 days in jail and they will be a lifetime burden to the taxpayers.

seabeau
33
Points
seabeau 12/16/10 - 08:50 am
0
0
I was spanked as a child and

I was spanked as a child and as an adult I spanked my children when they were young. Spanked not beaten. They have both been dutiful children and are now dutiful adults. The Bible says,"As the twig is bent so grows the tree".

augusta citizen
8638
Points
augusta citizen 12/16/10 - 09:23 am
0
0
There shouldn't be any doubt

There shouldn't be any doubt of making the parents pay. My two brothers broke a few windows in their time and once, out of sheer stupidity, cut a man's barbed wire fence and let his cow out. My father (and them) spent the whole day helping round up the cow and fixing the fence, at my dad's cost of course. I remember he was worried sick that they may not find the cow as he fully expected to pay to replace it if they didn't and to be held responsible for any damage the cow might do while loose. That was only in the 1970's but everyone expected to pay the cost when their kids broke something whether intentionally or accidentally.

jones255
0
Points
jones255 12/16/10 - 09:23 am
0
0
@oldfella - If the defense

@oldfella - If the defense lawyers are worth anything, they should've pleaded that once the probation is complete, their "records" should be exspunged (sp?). Keep their noses clean, all is good. However, mess up again, and they wil find themselves in "Big Boy Jail". I'm sure there is insurance that the county pays, but my hunch is that the deductible is probably around $100K. The county is self-insured up to the deductible amount. The insurance company will go after the parents. If you can afford it, everyone should have an umbrella policy for liability. They probably don't, but the product is out there. When our son was in Cub Scouts, and I was driving them all around, that's when I did it.

yak11
0
Points
yak11 12/16/10 - 09:32 am
0
0
lol..Jones, the term ARSON

lol..Jones, the term ARSON will follow them the rest of their natural lives. Thas right, insurance for a car, home etc will be incredibly hard to find forever. And well it should be.
I think their "probation" should continue until their debt is paid. That means if Jr decides to show his butt at home. Its a probation violaiton and they can go back to jail.

tuffenuf4u
0
Points
tuffenuf4u 12/16/10 - 10:08 am
0
0
What is so bad, yak11, is

What is so bad, yak11, is that in 30 days they will, according to the courts, paid their debt to society. Their five years of high intensity probation can be terminated in two years if their lawyer petitions the court in two years and they have no further problems. But, since they were not sentenced under first offender status, they will be convicted felons for life. There is no way to have a felony expunged from one's record.

WW1949
19
Points
WW1949 12/16/10 - 10:13 am
0
0
Ten dollars says the parents

Ten dollars says the parents declare bankruptcy. Kids do stupid things and not all are because of their upbringing. Corporal punishment should be brought back in the schools and the parents should back up the teachers. I have a friend who teaches at a school on Windsor Spring and says alot of the parents are horrible. They are on public assistance and could care less about their childrens behavior. They come to school high. What then do you expect from the children when they see that on a daily basis. It is the norm for them. The parents are the ones that need to go to jail and the children placed in foster homes to be adopted by people that care.

aughate
0
Points
aughate 12/16/10 - 11:29 am
0
0
Well personally I also agree

Well personally I also agree with most of you that the parents should have to pay for their children because honestly it should not fall on the individual or in this case the board of education to which the harm was done. And to ww1949, I am not 100% positive on this but in some cases, court orders demanding repayment cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. It's kind of like student loans cannot be discharged. But regardless, hopefully these boys learn a lesson and the parents by all means should learn one as well. Quite frankly, if my child messed in such a way, they wouldn't have been treated with a christmas anyway so quite frankly, I agree with the judge to turn over those presents or return them to the store to begin paying on this debt. And they would never see a gift again. Only thing they would get is the necessities, food(not fast food or restaurant cause to me that is a privelege), clothes(nothing expensive), and shelter(a place to be warm in the winter and cool in the summer and a bed with sheets). To the rest of you with children who seem like they want to act up, wake up PARENTS because our children are the one's who are menacing society.

fatboyhog
1806
Points
fatboyhog 12/16/10 - 11:49 am
0
0
Nofrills, could you please

Nofrills, could you please post the law that "clearly states that you cannot correct your child proper anymore"? As a law enforcement officer, I must say that's a new one to me. Your assertion is simply nit true. It is not a crime to discipline your children.

rmwhitley
5526
Points
rmwhitley 12/16/10 - 12:33 pm
0
0
Parents being held
Unpublished

Parents being held responsible for their offspring! How dare those absurd conservatives!!!!

Richmnd Cty Votr
1
Points
Richmnd Cty Votr 12/16/10 - 12:38 pm
0
0
The parents that believe they

The parents that believe they should not be held responsible, I wonder if they ever sat down and had THE TALK about DAMAGING others property? I seriously doubt it. Parents need to MAKE SURE they talk to their children about responsibility for doing wrong! AND WHO PAYS. (MORE THAN ONCE, these kids are THICK-HEADED today!) If they did, there would be a WHOLE LOT LESS MISCHIEF!

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 12/16/10 - 12:34 pm
0
0
Way to ruin your lives guys.

Way to ruin your lives guys.

InChristLove
22420
Points
InChristLove 12/16/10 - 12:52 pm
0
0
What I find disturbing is the

What I find disturbing is the fact that these are two 13-year olds and a 15-year old who will now probably struggle for the rest of their lives for something so stupid done in adolescent and probably instigated by these other two adults. Sentenced to confinement for 30 days, Rightfully so but should be longer in my opinion, probation and restitution ordered. I have no problem being hard on them or teaching them a lesson but having a felony record for the rest of their lives seems overkill and will prevent them from ever joinning the military or having a chance at any descent paying job. What is the inspiration to ever change their behavior because now they have no chance of ever being sucessful due to their criminal record. A few might get lucky but the majority go back to a life of crime because society has no forgiveness and we kill any dream they might have of proving themselves being productive citizens again.

xpresso1
68
Points
xpresso1 12/16/10 - 02:17 pm
0
0
I think its great that they

I think its great that they were punished! This needs to happen more often. I agree with the parents having to be responsible also, things like this start at home. Discipline does not kill or warp a child but lack of it sure can have dire consequences.

Burke Bear
0
Points
Burke Bear 12/16/10 - 02:18 pm
0
0
What all of you fail to

What all of you fail to relaize is that these teens have been vandalizing homes around where they live for some time. 30 days will not be enough for them. As soon as they get out, they will be running the streets again. Even when they had on the ankle monitors, they were still up and down the street and in the neighboring subdivision. It has been made very clear to me that if they are in the subdivision again, neighbors are to take action, then call the local PD. Even the Hephzibah police are tired of dealing with them. The parents are never at home and when they are, they are oblivious to anything those children are doing. They will never pay a dime back to the high school. The citizens of Richmond County will be eating that $350,000.

fontana
0
Points
fontana 12/16/10 - 02:41 pm
0
0
30 days is a vacation for

30 days is a vacation for themselves, teachers(if any) as well as their parent(s) NOT punishment. Now, give the parent(s) 30 days in jail, let the brats have the check books, credit cards, cars, house, etc, now that would be punishment, at least for the ones responsible, aka Parents.

ya-ya
83
Points
ya-ya 12/16/10 - 03:16 pm
0
0
InChristLove, I agree with

InChristLove, I agree with you totally...Burke Bear, we had some bad seeds in our neighborhood kicking in the back doors and Richmond County came out for the last time on this issue when WE marched to the front door of one of the little hoodlums. Mom came out and of course acted like she couldn't understand why we were blaming her son and his buddies (uh lady he used to brag about it at school..when he went). The Deputy told them that one day they would run up in the wrong house and that if the homeowner "put them down", oh well, stay the Heck off their property. These boys were so bold with their foolishness that they would ride up and down the block like they were running it, no license as they were under 16 years old, and attempt to bully us...until one guy and his friends snatched them out the car!!!! What a night that was and no more break-ins, although he still lives here and drinks and smokes and whatever else

GaRealist
22
Points
GaRealist 12/16/10 - 04:27 pm
0
0
Remember Proverbs 22:6 "Train

Remember Proverbs 22:6
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
This is what happens when the State will not allow parents to "apply the board of education to the seat of knowledge" We have 2 whole generations now that needed the "board" when they were growing up.

gaj265
201
Points
gaj265 12/16/10 - 08:27 pm
0
0
These juvenile delinquents

These juvenile delinquents have been the bane of Hephzibah schools since they were at HMS. They have already been to numerous tribunals and at least one of them has been in and out of the alternative school several times. Ryan in particular has a long disciplinary history with the RCBOE. And every time one of the Taylor children gets into trouble, the parents go show their tails at the school and lay the blame for their misbehavior anywhere except where it belongs--on themselves and their rotten children. Their behavior problems have been steadily escalating for years, getting into bigger, more serious forms of trouble. It is time to STOP these young men before their actions damage other human beings instead of buildings. And yes, this time their parents need to be held responsible for their childrens' actions. The courts can hit them where it hurts-- IN THEIR WALLETS! Once again they were caught redhanded. There is no one else to blame.

Burke Bear
0
Points
Burke Bear 12/16/10 - 08:39 pm
0
0
I am glad to see that there

I am glad to see that there are others who know about those Taylor boys. I am going to call to see what "high-intensity probabtion" means cause the next time they step in my yard, they will get some high intensity buckshot on their backsides. The Hephzibah PD has already told me that I am within my rights to protect my home and family.

mable8
2
Points
mable8 12/16/10 - 10:56 pm
0
0
tuffenuf4u: "30 days from now

tuffenuf4u: "30 days from now they will be laughing as they exit YDC. If they could be locked up with hardened criminals, and see what real prison is really like, then this short sentence would do some good." What makes you so certain that the YDCs around aren't tough to reside in? Some of those detention centers are truly bad--and the adult prison can look like an Oasis in a desert in comparison. Believe it and if you don't, then take some time and visit one of those hell-holes. I disagree with the 100 hours of community service and think they should have received a sentence of 300 hours, with at least 100 hours working for an agency that cares for burn cases. The remaining 200 hours would be assigned to working at the reconstruction site of the ruined gym. Perhaps a little eye-opening could then take place; they would at least learn what arson can do if people were injured in such a fire and the hard labor in construction would show them just what it takes to rebuild something that was wantonly destroyed.

bclicious
619
Points
bclicious 12/16/10 - 11:21 pm
0
0
tuffenuf4u, Sorry, but the

tuffenuf4u,

Sorry, but the first offender act no longer exists in Georgia. It was removed from Georgia Law in 2009.

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